I attend RISE with my 17 year old daughter Sophie who has non verbal autism. Before coming to the group we felt very isolated at home, seeing no one.

Sophie was extremely quiet and shy, she didn’t want to leave the house and only used You Tube for company. I wanted somewhere Sophie could socialise with friends her own age and I could make friends who understood what I was going through without being judged or stared at.

Since coming to RISE, she has her own circle of friends, she now communicates through eye contact and she will also have physical contact by the way of hugs (when she wants to). She has learnt life skills and because she is comfortable in the group, she is becoming more vocal. To imagine life without RISE would be sad because she would revert to the lonely young lady, less confident and she wouldn’t go out anywhere. RISE has literally become our lifeline to the outside world. We have both made life long friends, my own confidence has grown so much I am now actively involved in raising awareness for our young people and helping out in groups and speaking out in public. Rachel (Sophie’s mum)

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